Star Parties to attend if you are going to North America soon

Sky & Telescope Magazine has an article on star gazing in the USA.  As part of the article they published a list of “selected” Star Parties taking place in the Northern Hemisphere’s summer. Down here in the Western Cape we have rain, clouds and then more rain and clouds.  ASSA’s Bloemfontein Centre recently held the first Free State Star Party and they had fine but cold weather while Kos and the Soutpansberg Astronomy Club in Limpopo Province seem to be having a run of fine weather too.  The next Southern Star Party is scheduled for November at our usual venue, Night Sky Caravan Farm on the farm Oudekraal, west of Bonnievale

Selected North American Star Parties in 2014
Event Location Dates
Table Mountain Star Party Oroville, WA July 22-26
Mason Dixon Star Party Wellsville, PA July 23-27
Stellafane Convention Springfield, VT July 24-27
Mount Kobau Star Party Osoyoos, BC (Canada) July 26-Aug. 3
Oregon Star Party  Prineville, OR  Aug. 19-24
Starfest  Ayton, ON (Canada)  Aug. 21-24
Almost Heaven Star Party  Circleville, WV  Aug. 22-26
Nova East Star Party  Haunts County NS (Canada)  Aug. 22-24
Idaho Star Party  Mountain Home, ID  Sept. 19-21
Alberta Star Party  Drumheller, AB (Canada)  Sept. 19-21
Okie-Tex Star Party  Kenton, OK  Sept. 20-28
Astroblast  Franklin, PA  Sept. 23-28
SJAC Fall Star Party  Woodbine, NJ  Sept. 25-28
Astronomy Day (autumn)  Everywhere!  Oct. 4
Bays Mountain StarFest  Kingsport, TN  Oct. 17-19
 Chiefland Star Party  Chiefland, FL  Nov. 17-23

Solar Eclipse – 03 November 2013

Solar eclipse:  Like the Curry Cup, unfortunately not for Cape Town.

The Northern parts of South Africa will be able to see some of the action somewhere between shortly after 15:00 and just before 17:00.  The actual times and how much of the eclipse you will see depend on exactly where you are.

For more information you can visit the Johannesburg Planetarium’s general webpage or go directly to their graphic representation. NASA has a general eclipse website with comprehensive information on past and future eclipses.  There is a good animation you can view at this UK site or you can go to the Facebook page covering the event. Kos Coronaios and the Soutpansberg Astronomy club will also be covering the event at their monthly stargazing event in Louis Trichard.  If you are in that area go to their Facebook page for more information.

Please remember that you must not look directly at the sun with the naked eye.  Sunglasses, no matter how state of the art they are, old x-ray plates, glass smoked black with a candle, pieces of green wine bottles or any one of the multitude of home made devices, are all inadequate.  Using them could leave you, and especially your children, with permanent damage that might only manifest itself long after the event.